At my new job we use Git exclusively, while previously I had been using Mecurial. Even though I’d used Git for my projects hosted on, those are mainly personal projects, which did not require much collaboration with other developers. So the Git add/commit/push commands pretty much sufficed most of the time.

But after a few weeks of using Git extensively at WFP where we make use of the Git Flow process, I must say I am really enjoying Git and grasping the branching aspect of things a lot better. I would still not classify myself as a expert of Git by any stretch of the imagination, but I do feel like I have moved past the crawling stage.

As I’ve mentioned, we make use of Git Flow, so installing that helps things a little. It’s not really needed as the Git commands are simple enough, it does help with streamlining/automating a few tasks though.

See Git Flow installation instructions if you want to make use of it.


My daily Git routine generally revolves around the following commands;

# list of branches
git branch

# work on a particular branch
git checkout <branch>

# see status of changes
git status

# see changes for particular file
git diff <file>

# remove changes made to the file
git checkout <file>

# add a file to the list of files to be commited
git add <file>

# committing changes, -m if I want to add a comment inline with the command
git commit [-m]

# when merging, the Git commit message is pretty decent, so add to it, rather than overwriting it
git merge <branch>

# pull changes from remote to your branch
git pull <remote> <branch>

# push your changes to the remote server
git push <remote> <branch>

# delete remote branch, this command is slightly weird. Note colon, that's needed
git push <remote> :<remote_branch>

# delete a branch locally
# -D if there are changes in the branch you don't care about
git branch -d <branch>

See Git Documentation for more complete information.


If I need to “park” my changes so I can do a pull/push or some action that needs the branch(es) to be ‘clean’, making use of stash is really helpful.

# show the list of currently stashed items
git stash list

# create a stash of the changes in branch
git stash

# apply the stashed item to the current branch
# this applies the stash to the current branch and leaves it in the stash list
# it applies the first stash item if none provided
git stash apply [<stash>]

# if you want to apply the first stash and remove it from the stash list
git stash pop

# to remove a stash item from the stash list
git stash drop [<stash>]

# to see the stash changes in greater detail
git stash show -p [<stash>]

See Git Tools - Stashing for more information on stashing.

Branching with Git Flow

Git Flow makes use of the following “types” of branches. Featrure/Release/Hotfix and each of those are handled in the same manner. So you just need to replace the command with the relevant type of branch you are dealing with.

# start a new branch
git flow <branch_type> start <name>

# to merge and remove the branch
git flow <branch_type> finish <name>

These are the commands I mainly use with Git Flow, there are a bunch of others, but I find the Git commands are simple enough to use. See Git Flow for more information of the other commands.


Oops, need to undo a commit

git reset HEAD~1

See Git-Reset for detail information on resetting.


612 Words

2013-05-31 20:00 -0400